Cassville school district comes in $82,000 under budget

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Superintendent: Figure is due to conservative money management

According to Superintendent Richard Asbill, the Cassville school district was able to conservatively manage its general fund, as it came in $82,000 under budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

"The board is very conservative, which is a reflection of our fiscally conservative communities," Asbill said. "The board wants to ensure that we use school dollars wisely for students and programs that will benefit our school and community. Good fiscal planning by the board allows us to set priorities, plan for needs, and stay competitive within southwest Missouri."

According to Asbill, the district's current budget consists of approximately $17.5 million for each fiscal year, which run from July 1 through June 30.

"There are years where coming in ahead or behind in the fiscal budget is normal," Asbill said.

Given that school districts are dependent on local state and federal funding, which has the potential to ebb and flow with changes in legislation, and is dependent on the economy, the district must manage funds wisely within a sometimes tricky and uncertain financial climate.

"When those revenue areas are limited due to economic growth or recessional impacts, funding can increase or decrease. There are times when the state may withhold or release funds that school districts had planned or not planned to use thus changing the ending budget picture."

Asbill said state payments are made to school districts one time per month, around the 20th.

"As the fiscal year progresses, the state will adjust funding levels upon enrollment and programs for the whole state," he said. "Then, as the legislative sessions begin and end, you have the potential for reductions or increases based on what is approved by the legislature."

Asbill said the district's aim is to always try to be conservative and reflect actual budget needs, because of the fact that financial circumstances have the potential to change.

"There are times when a project, an HVAC upgrade for example, was budgeted to cost $70,000 and actual cost was only $60,000, but there are times that projects are just the opposite in projection to actual cost," he said. "My board and I work very hard to evaluate all the needs and create a budget plan that will represent those needs, and remain fiscally conservative, while also representing the local tax effort that we have been provided. It is very challenging at times, but we focus on doing what is best for our students and communities."

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